The Top 25 Innovators Of 2014

The Innovators

Behind today's biggest business challenges are the biggest IT opportunities -- think cloud, Big Data, and security. But spinning challenges into gold takes innovative leaders with an uncanny ability to spot IT pain points and solve them. Here are this year's top 25 innovative IT movers and shakers.

25. Chad Gailey

Senior Director, Global Cloud Providers

CA Technologies

Chad Gailey is known for building channel programs with the partner's needs coming first. That has earned him high praise from not only the partner community, but from customers that recognize that integrity. At New York-based CA, he is known for having a demonstrable impact on vendor channel strategies, initiatives and programs.

24. David Grimes

Cloud Technology Designer, Visionary


Behind every cloud hosting and application management services provider is a visionary with an uncanny ability to identify the greatest pain points in a company's IT ecosystem and solve them. At Newark, Del.-based NaviSite, David Grimes has played a key role in doing just that—forging key partnerships, such as with VMware's AirWatch—that have helped customers find solutions and also business success.

23. Randy Groves



Randy Groves walks the walk and talks the talk when it comes to be an innovative leader. He not only has extensive experience building computer systems, software and designing microelectronics, but he also has the business chops to match. He has helped British Columbia-based Teradici bring cutting-edge PCoIP and virtual desktop solutions to market.

22. David Flynn



There is huge complexity within enterprise-class Wi-Fi management world and David Flynn finds it his mission as CEO of Aerohive to simplify it. Under his leadership, Aerohive, Sunnyvale, Calif., has been able to grow substantially faster than the Wi-Fi market as a whole as it has expanded its portfolio of products to include cloud-enabled router and VPN technologies.

21. Mike Trebilcock



A technology visionary who keeps his customers one step ahead of the technology curve. Time and time again he has brought market changing technology like telepresence video to the table long before it was fashionable. And he has brought a big dose of Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spark to the Midwest. How does he do it? By bringing the best and brightest technical, marketing and management talent to MCPc.

20. Birger Steen



Cloud technology is evolving so fast that identifying new market opportunities and making the right moves amid change are essential to staying in the game. Birger Steen has those attributes and more. The CEO of Parallels, a Renton, Wash.-based enabler of cloud computing services, was a key deal-maker when it comes to getting its technology in Hewlett-Packard's Moonshot servers and into Microsoft's Azure Pack.

19. Anders Gustafsson


Zebra Technologies

Anders Gustafsson joined Zebra in 2007 and since then has been in the driver's seat when it comes to accelerating the company's push to converge mobility, data analytics and cloud computing into a streamlined offering. Lincolnshire, Ill.-based Zebra, which manufactures and sells marking, tracking and printing technologies, has Gustafsson to thank for keeping it cutting edge.

18. Wayne Newton

Director, B2B Sales


As Belkin, Playa Vista, Calif., has stepped up its offensive to tackle the SMB market, Wayne Newton has been a standout for driving that charge. His leadership and creative approach to building the PartnerAdvantage Program to empower partners to drive Belkin's growing product SKUs deeper into business channels has earned him high marks among his peers.

17. Adalio Sanchez

General Manager, System x Business


Innovation amid massive change is Adalio Sanchez's charge as a key logistical architect of IBM's pending sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo. Sanchez, whose employment will transfer to Lenovo as part of the $2.3 billion deal, has been central figure in porting Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM's massive x86 business and partner program to Lenovo.

16. Walter Scott


GFI Software

Walter Scott heads Durham, N.C.-based GFI Software, a leading network security firm with award-winning technology that prides itself on its aggressive pricing strategy and a strong focus on small to midsize businesses. Scott's innovative focus is driving GFI's growth and maintaining an SMB sweet spot for its solutions.

15. Austin McChord

Founder, CEO


Growth at disaster recovery and backup firm Datto, Norwalk, Conn., has been impressive. Austin McChord is credited for driving that growth with a credo of staying one step ahead of the competition and keeping Datto partners at the forefront of everything it does. That recipe paid dividends with four consecutive years of 300 percent year-over-year growth.

14. Mike Strohl


Entisys Solutions

Staying on top of the virtualization and cloud computing revolution is a feat unto itself, but Mike Strohl makes it look easy at the helm of Entisys. He was one of the first to bring customers the benefits of virtualization and is now helping customers make their mark in the cloud. It all adds up to big productivity gains for customers that partner with Entisys.

13. Lloyd Carney


Brocade Communications Systems

No one has done a better job energizing data and storage networking firm Brocade than Lloyd Carney. Since taking the top spot in 2013, Carney is credited for being a visionary leader guiding the San Jose, Calif.-based company to the networking industry's next big opportunities defined by data center virtualization, cloud computing, and software networking.

12. Marius Haas

Chief Commercial Officer, President, Enterprise Solutions


As one of Dell's most senior executives overseeing the channel, Marius Haas has not only been a strong advocate for the channel, but a chief architect for helping Dell, Round Rock, Texas, transform from a direct box pusher to an omni-channel soup-to-nuts enterprise go-to OEM.

11. Antonio Neri

Senior Vice President, General Manager, Servers, Networking


Antonio Neri is known for moving fast when it comes to driving Hewlett-Packard's Enterprise, Servers, and Storage and Networking business units. This guy has moxie, say partners, who add he's got what it takes when it comes to driving new business at Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP and developing a go-to- market strategy for Network Fabric architectures and HP Servers—a $13 billion business that includes HP Moonshot.

10. Ratmir Timashev

President, CEO


Being innovative is a job prerequisite for working at Veeam, a Baar, Switzerland-based company that develops backup, disaster recovery, and virtualization management software for VMware and Hyper-V virtual environments. And for Veeam, the driving innovative force has been CEO Ratmir Timashev. For more than a decade he has helped build systems management solutions for virtualized server infrastructures.

9. Scott Barnes

Founder, CTO

StorageCraft Technology

For 16 years Scott Barnes has had a front-row seat to the disaster recovery industry, watching it morph from being hardware-centric, to virtualized environments, and to the cloud. At StorageCraft, Draper, Utah, Barnes has leveraged that experience and helped take disaster recovery to the level, pushing for smart forward-looking deals such as its latest with networking firm NetGear.

8. Nick Earle

Senior Vice President, Cloud Sales, Go To Market

Cisco Systems

Nick Earle is credited with developing innovative services- led strategies at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco to help customers solve business challenges and help partners improve profitability. He's known for being an innovator who can turn emerging business models into products that deliver value and profit where there has been none.

7. Lee Chen

Founder, CEO

A10 Networks

Lee Chen, known as a fearless leader with a passion for creating new things, counts A10, San Jose, Calif., as the third company he founded. A10, which accelerates, secures and optimizes data center applications and networks, has been an industry force creating some of IT's most innovative and fastest networks all while providing top-notch security solutions.

6. Ken Xie



Ken Xie is best known as a pioneer of unified threat management in the Internet security space. But he can list ’tech wiz’ to his resume as well. That's because the CEO of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fortinet is all about innovation and building his own solutions, whether it be better chip designs or finding new ways to detect advanced threats.

5. Jeff Storey

President, CEO

Level 3 Communications

The telecommunications industry is rapidly evolving and Jeff Storey has led Level 3, Broomfield, Colo., to the forefront of those changes with his drive to capitalize on the explosion of video, voice and other data across enterprise networks and the Web. Storey has also been out in front of some of the industry's biggest trends such as managing bandwidth and network security.

4. David DeWalt



The mark of a great CEO doesn't just include leadership, but also innovation. David DeWalt has that in spades, say partners, who credit him for commercializing the security mechanism called sandboxing and turning it into a turnkey solution that partners of the Milipitas, Calif., company can go to market with.

3. Scott Guthrie

Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group


Scott Guthrie, a rock star in the developer community, is now filling Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's old role as head of the Cloud and Enterprise group. Partners call Guthrie a key driver of the open approach Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., is taking with Azure, which supports a wide range of development languages and frameworks. Along with his signature red shirt, Guthrie is best known for his work on ASP.Net.

2. Werner Vogels

CTO, Vice President


Few at Amazon have done more or been more vocal when it comes to advocating for the Seattle-based company's charge to the cloud than Werner Vogels. Vogels is famous for being a driving force behind the company's cloud architect, which is central to the success of Amazon's cloud computing and Amazon Web Services.

1. Tom Reilly



If you want to make big data profitable, you need an innovative CEO that can connect the dots between business potential and practice. Tom Reilly, CEO of Hadoop-based software and training firm Cloudera, is credited for his innovative approach in using Hadoop software as a tool to house unstructured data and spin it into gold. With two blockbuster partnerships with Accenture and Intel, he set out to take Palo Alto, Calif.-based Cloudera to the next level. Ask any partner and you'll get an earful of praise for the maverick Reilly's spirit and foresight to drive enterprise-class analytics solutions. Reilly also is credited with setting Cloudera's table for future success as part of a $740 million investment by Intel to make future processors designed specifically for analytic workloads running Hadoop software. Thanks to Reilly's innovative charge, he been able to turn Cloudera from a fast-growing big data software startup into a really big deal.